HISTORY OF MEMORIAL DAY
The city of Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, an American village on the National Historic Register, claims to be the birthplace of Memorial Day, as do some 24 other towns in America. But Boalsburg’s claim goes back to a practice at the end of the Civil War. It does have a local museum and a history that stretches back over two centuries. Its claim is supported by pointing out, on a large sign near the center of town that:
The custom of decorating soldiers’ graves was begun here in October, 1864, by Emma Hunter, Sophie Keller, and Elizabeth Myers.
Named for David Boal who settled here in 1798. Village laid out in 1808. Boalsburg Tavern built in 1819. Post Office established 1820. First church erected 1827. Home community of three United States ambassadors.
Bill Petro, your friendly neighborhood historian